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S. Korea’s prime minister stresses cooperation with Japan, others

Jiji Press SEOUL (Jiji Press) — South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has stressed the importance of cooperation with Japan and other countries to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula.

In a speech at a ceremony on Thursday night to mark the 100th anniversary of the Korean Provisional Government, Lee said that a peaceful and prosperous Korean Peninsula must be realized by resolving the division of the peninsula.

For that purpose, South Korea is working with the international community, including the United States, China, Japan and Russia, he said.

Lee refrained from touching on his country’s deteriorating relations with Japan.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in also avoided directly criticizing Japan, in his speech at a ceremony on March 1 to mark the 100th anniversary of a Korean movement seeking independence from Japan.

Japan-South Korea relations have deteriorated partly because of a series of South Korean court rulings that ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation to South Koreans requisitioned to work for the firms during World War II.

Japan’s government, which maintains its position that war-related compensation issues between the two countries were settled by a 1965 bilateral agreement, is urging Seoul to take appropriate action to deal with the situation.

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